Through Voices of Our Region, Persons with Disabilities Command Well-deserved Attention
The content below may contain dated material as it was prepared for the media in advance of Pittsburgh’s hosting of the G20 in March 2010.
The Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS) recognized that persons with disabilities were often overlooked when it came to providing them with services. In order to rectify that situation, DHS conceived The Disability Connection in January 2004. The Disability Connection works with individuals and “the system” to reduce and eliminate barriers that keep persons with disabilities from living to their full potential.
In 2006, DHS vied for the opportunity to create yet another resource for persons with disabilities and, this time, older adults as well. The mission of the Allegheny Link to Aging and Disability Resources is to simplify and streamline access to long-term living services and supports; provide assistance to consumers who are seeking services and making long-term living decisions; to increase awareness; and provide reliable information to those in need.
In 2008, inspired by the idea of creating a lasting testimonial to the struggles and achievements of persons with disabilities, The Disability Connection (TDC) initiated a project that would involve participants from much of southwestern Pennsylvania. TDC staff traveled to communities big and small and interviewed a wide range of individuals who all had two things in common: their lives were personally influenced by some sort of disability – physical, behavioral or intellectual – and they were interested in telling their stories. Completed in February 2009, Voices of Our Region is housed on a website that preserves a collection of 57 audio narratives along with photographs of the contributors.